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Following rain, desert microbes exhale potent greenhouse gas


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Dec 3, 2017
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New UC Riverside research shows how, after it rains, microbes in desert soil convert one form of pollution into another -- laughing gas.

No laughing matter, nitrous oxide or N2O is the third most potent greenhouse gas. Scientists conducting the research were surprised to measure N2O production in the desert heat.
"It only happens in waterlogged soils. Since the desert is dry most of the year, we didn't think this process could occur in arid soils," said Alex Krichels, UCR environmental scientist and first author on the new study.
N2O is also toxic & a drug of abuse. Abusers build up a tolerance.
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